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Interview: Corrie Townsend

Monday December 12, 2011 - 3:05 p.m.

Victim Katie Masters' parents suggested that Detectives Armstrong and Murphy talk to their daughter's best friend, Corrie Townsend, because she and Katie spent the day together before Katie was murdered. The interview was conducted at the Yoknapatawpha County Sheriff's Department and was recorded with the witness's knowledge and consent. Because Corrie Townsend is 18 years old, it was not necessary for her parents to give consent for or be present during the interview.

Participants:

  • Detective Ted Armstrong
  • Detective Samantha Murphy
  • Corrie Townsend

Detective Murphy: Have a seat; this is my partner, Detective Armstrong. Would you please state your name and address for the record?

Corrie Townsend: My name is Coralee Jane Townsend, and I live with my parents at 142 Colonial Road, right here in Oxford.

Detective Murphy: We know that you're upset, Coralee, but we really need to talk with you while the events are still fresh in your mind.

Corrie Townsend: I know. It's just so hard. I miss her already! I feel... lost, you know?

Detective Armstrong: Here's a tissue. Now try to calm down.

Corrie Townsend: I am trying. What can I do to help?

Detective Murphy: Coralee, let's just go over the events of that day. Maybe something will give us a clue we can use. I know this will be hard for you but it is very important.

Corrie Townsend: Please call me Corrie. Calling me Coralee is freaking me out even more.

Detective Armstrong: OK. Corrie, what time did you and Katie get together this past Saturday, December 10th?

Corrie Townsend: A little before 9:00 in the morning. We always take‒I mean, we always took turns driving. That horrible day, it was my turn.

Detective Armstrong: Please just walk us through your day.

Corrie Townsend: We went to McDonalds for breakfast. Katie's ex was there, and he can't stand the fact that she dumped him. He won't leave her alone. That morning though, he didn't say one word to her. He just stared at her the entire time we were there. It creeped us out.

Detective Murphy: Why is that?

Corrie Townsend: Because he looked at her like he hated her guts. It was a horrible stare, just really creepy and weird.

Detective Armstrong: What is this ex's name?

Corrie Townsend: Bobby Canton

Detective Armstrong: Then what happened next?

Corrie Townsend: Me and Corrie ate, and then we went to the library to do our homework. The creepy church guy was there, so we tried to avoid him and found a table in the back. After that we went to the skate park. Katie didn't want to go home because her folks were at work, and she had been getting some strange calls.

Detective Murphy: Threatening calls?

Corrie Townsend: Nah, just hang-ups and heavy breathing. The first time it happened, she hung up and hit *69. She called the number back, and some kid answered. She asked him why he called her, and he said he didn't. He claimed that he was riding his bike and as he passed the payphone it rang so he answered it.

Detective Armstrong: Payphone? People still use those?

Corrie Townsend: Yeah, that's what we said. Katie said if he didn't have a cell phone, he had no business calling her. She tried to make a joke of it, but I could tell she was a little scared.

Detective Armstrong: This creepy church guy, tell us about him.

Corrie Townsend: He was just always trying to get us to have a bible study with him. He said he wanted to "save our wretched souls. He was nice about it, but he made us feel ashamed of ourselves so we tried to stay away from him.

Detective Murphy: Corrie, what happened at the park?

Corrie Townsend: We skated for awhile, and then some boys asked us to play Frisbee with them.

Detective Armstrong: What were their names?

Corrie Townsend: Oh, we didn't know them, but they were cute! Katie is a total flirt, and she was flirting big time with the tallest and hottest one. We didn't play very long because the boy started taking it too serious and making passes at her. And then he asked her to leave with him to go party. She pushed him away and ran off laughing at him. She thought it was funny, but I could tell he wasn't happy.

Detective Armstrong: Did he follow her?

Corrie Townsend: No, but he did say some ugly things to her, called her some names and said she would be his someday. Then he turned and started throwing the Frisbee again with his buddies.

Detective Murphy: Where did she run off to?

Corrie Townsend: My car. Our shoes were all dirty, so we decided to go to the laundry and wash them. Both of our moms hate when we track dirt in the house.

Detective Armstrong: The Coin Laundry on University Avenue? What time was it when you got there?

Corrie Townsend: Yep, that's the one. I have no idea what time it was. I'm not a clock-watcher. Sorry. Oh wait! We ate lunch around 12:30 at the park, so maybe an hour and a half later.

Detective Murphy: So around 2:00 p.m. That helps. What did you do next, Corrie?

Corrie Townsend: Katie was thirsty and wanted a snack. She had a thing for Funyuns and root beer. She was going to walk over to the Kangaroo Express. Besides, that Jimmy who worked there, he didn't know how to act when Katie was around. He tripped over his own feet. Katie never even spoke to him, but she would give him her best flirty look and he would stutter like crazy. She loved the effect she had on guys. So anyway, I told her they wouldn't let her in there barefooted. She laughed and smiled and said she'd wear her skates. She turned back once she got to the door and said, "I'll be right back." Oh god, I never saw her again.

Detective Armstrong: Why didn't you call the police when she didn't come back?

Corrie Townsend: Well, I should have. I know that now. I just thought she decided to go party with those boys after all. I wasn't worried. Does that make it my fault? I should have called.

Detective Murphy: No, that doesn't mean it's your fault. There's nothing you could have done. Please don't cry.

Detective Armstrong: After she left the laundromat, did you see or hear anything?

Corrie Townsend: I heard some screeching tires, but I didn't see anything. Please can I go now?

Detective Murphy: Yes, you can. But please call us if you remember anything else, anything at all.

Interview ends: 3:30 p.m.

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